There are three ways to unlock a cell phone, you can purchase an unlock code from an online provider, buy an unlocking hardware device or unlock the phone yourself using a USB cable and software tools. Of the three ways, unlocking the phone yourself using a USB cable is one of the quickest and least expensive. You don't need to wait for someone else to send you unlock codes and it is a process that you can do yourself.
Find an online store that will sell you an unlocking software (see resource links). As of 2010 these programs cost between $20 to $50.
Purchase and download the phone drivers and utility software to the desktop of your computer and unzip all the files. On your computer, go to "Start", "Computer" and click on "C:" right click and select "New Folder," name this folder after your phone.
Copy the .flb that you have downloaded from your desktop, and paste it on the new "C:" folder you have made.
Turn your phone off and remove your phone's SIM card and battery before you connect it to the computer using the USB cable.
The new hardware wizard will appear on your desktop, it will ask to search the Internet for the software, click on "No, not this time", then "I will choose driver to install" and then "Have disc." Go to your desktop and click on the phone drivers. The driver installation will start and click on "Finish" when the installation is complete.
Open the utility folder from your desktop, double click on the phone utility file and the software will launch. Key in "O" (not zero) on the software window and press "Enter." Type in ".\USB1" and press "Enter."
Go to the folder that you have made for your phone and select the ".flb" file. Drag and drop this file to the software window and press "Enter."
Key in "STATIC_EEP," connect your phone (without battery) again to your computer and wait for the computer to recognize your phone. Press "Enter" and wait for the software to process the commands and once done, close the software.
Go to your desktop phone utility folder. There will be 2 new files, STATIC_EEP.BIG and STATIC_EEP. Delete STATIC_EEP.BIG and move the STATIC_EEP to the "C:" folder you made earlier.
Go to the utility folder in your desktop and double click on the utility software (.util or utils.exe), the software will open, type in "P" on the software window.
Go to the "C:" folder and click on the STATIC_EEP file, drag and drop the file to the software window. The unlock code will be displayed.
Turn the phone on with and type in "2945#P71001" followed by the unlock code displayed on the utility software. Your phone is now unlocked and can be used with any cell phone service provider.
Things You'll Need
USB data cable
These instructions are for LG phones. Instructions for other makes may differ slightly.